Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.

Flaws in countywide smoking ban

Monday, April 03, 2006
Daily Herald

Remember when you could have a smoke at your desk at work or in any restaurant? Indeed, you could light up in just about every public place, except maybe elevators.
Smokers might yearn for the days before tobacco use bans banished them to the outdoors to puff away. But non-smokers don’t miss being exposed to the nasty habit, and we don’t blame them. Not only is sitting next to a smoker annoying, but the secondhand smoke poses a threat to your health.
The state has taken another step toward keeping smoke out of lungs that breathe it in involuntarily. The General Assembly has passed legislation that gives Illinois counties authority to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places.
This builds upon on legislation passed last year, now state law, that gives every municipality the ability to restrict smoking within its community.
Businesses have complained this law is going to cost them patrons who smoke. They can simply go to a nearby bar or restaurant doing business outside the limits of a city banning smoking.
But now there is the new legislation granting the power to ban smoking on a countywide basis.
Yet, this measure also has its imperfections. It would only cover unincorporated areas. Municipalities retain their power to decide, individually, whether to ban smoking.
To put this into perspective, out of nearly 3,000 bars and restaurants in DuPage County, only 31 are located in the unincorporated areas within the county’s jurisdiction.
So in effect, only a handful of bars or restaurants would be forbidden from allowing their patrons to smoke if the county board decided to enact the newfound smoke ban authority gained under the legislation that is now before the governor.
Not only would this fall short of any semblance of a comprehensive ban in the best interest of public health, but it would certainly generate new cries of economic injustice from establishments in unincorporated areas.
 The best way to depart from a piecemeal approach to protecting the non-smoking public is to enact a firm, statewide ban. That would put all communities, and businesses, on the same footing. It is the best solution.
Absent that, we again offer a strategy that we have on occasion recommended in this space.  That is, take a regional approach.
Municipalities and counties could work collectively toward enacting a smoking ban measure for the collar county region. This way, the debate of smokers’ rights versus non-smokers’ rights, feared economic disadvantages and how to minimize them, and protecting public health could be intensely debated at the local level. Hopefully an equitable yet effective smoking ban would result from such discussions.
Better to hope for something productive from a regional approach than to keep going the patchwork way.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.